The Story Of Halloween

jack-o-lantern pumpkin

Halloween has always been a time when children and adults tap into their imaginations and become a favorite character.  But how much do you really know about the tradition of Halloween?

Did You Know…?

…Halloween came from Ireland.

  • In 1846, Irish immigrants brought a tradition that is known as Samhain, a Gaelic word for “summer’s end.”
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in a Celtic tale about a man named “Stingy Jack.” Stingy Jack found himself in a rather unpleasant place.  A place that was very dark indeed.  To find his way, he carved a turnip and used a lump of coal to light the way.
  • Turnips and potatoes were originally used for Jack o’ Lanterns, but pumpkins were much more abundant in America when Halloween was brought by the Irish.
  • Wearing costumes, trick-or-treating and carving frightening faces of Jack o’ Lanterns meant to keep away goblins, ghouls and spirits.

Halloween Fun Facts

  • The witch’s broomstick is a modern interpretation of walking sticks that were once used by elderly women who had to travel on foot.
  • The orange and black colors of Halloween originally represented harvest time.  Orange symbolizes the crops, and black symbolizes the end of summer.
  • Scarecrows are another Halloween tradition that comes from agriculture and harvest season.
  • In Europe, trick-or-treating is known as “guysing” or “mumming,” and you have to dance for your candy!
  • Some of the earliest immigrants to America referred to Halloween as “Cabbage Night.”
  • Pumpkins come in many colors, including green, white and even blue!
  • Bobbing for apples comes from a Roman tradition to celebrate the harvest.
  • Vampire bats are real, but they’re not from Transylvania. The bats can be found in South and Central America.
  • Donald A. Reed founded The Count Dracula Society in 1962.
  • Think spiders are creepy? Folklore says that seeing a spider on Halloween is a sign that someone is watching over you…in a good way!

Halloween Safety

Safe Kids Worldwide release safety tips for children and parents who are trick-or-treating this Halloween.  We hope that our customers and their families have a safe and fun Halloween Eve!

  1. Parents should always accompany their children. Children under 12 need an adult with them to safely make their way around your neighborhood.  Older children should only trick-or-treat in areas close to home with which they are familiar.
  2. Be seen! Children’s costumes and candy bags and buckets should have reflective stickers or tape, and light-colored costumes are safer at night.  You should also give each child a small flashlight or glow stick.
  3. Masks can block your child’s vision. Use makeup whenever possible, or encourage your child to remove the mask until they arrive at the doorstep for trick-or-treating.
  4. Make sure that your child’s costume fits well, especially in the length. A few quick stiches can keep your child from tripping over the material.
  5. Teach your child safe walking rules. Only cross at the corners, and stay on the sidewalk.  Keep cell phones and other electronic devices at home to help children stay focused on safe walking.

For Drivers

Halloween means that children are going door-to-door for candy and treats.  Even with the best preparations by parents, sometimes little ones can be overwhelmed with excitement.

  1. Always watch for children in the area where you are driving, even if it is a rural area.
  2. Stay focus on safely operating your vehicle at all times — do not text or talk on your phone. Even hands-free options can take your attention off the road.
  3. Watch for children around areas where they may cross the road, such as corners, medians and neighborhoods.
  4. Use extra caution when turning onto a street or using your driveway. Little ones can appear almost out of nowhere.
  5. Drive below the speed limit in areas where children are present or where you notice heavy foot traffic.